(I make an ask of you in the last paragraph, so please be sure you see it)
As I reflect, I keep coming back to a deep appreciation to the one responsible for making it happen. Yes, all Good things come from God. No doubt about it. He gets the ultimate credit. But God's work is almost always done through human hands.
Andrew Peterson is a musical genius. He wrote it (Behold the Lamb of God), assembled the basic framework of what we saw at PCC. He is one of my favorite singers and songwriters.
But there is one person who was the catalyst, the steady hand, the quiet leader. I watched her play and lead and pray and encourage for an hour - most of which she existed in the dark, in the background, and not at center stage. By now, you probably know I'm talking about Beth Brawley Stoddard.
This picture wasn't taken during Behold the Lamb, but I thought it was a fitting tribute to her leadership. She has learned that incredible talent like hers is attractive to other exceptionally talented musicians. In fact, layers and layers of people, all of whom are incredibly gifted in their respective fields, gather around her all the time. She is a magnet for talented creatives.
But at some point, Beth recognized that she not only had a great gift in music, but in leadership, too. And leadership is as much about 'giving away' as it is displaying your talent. Slowly, deliberately, Beth shifted and took a role of equipper, encourager, coach, inspiration, and trustee of the big-picture.
It has been happening for a long time. Behold the Lamb was not the beginning...it was the culmination. It was the result.
I don't mean in any way to discount the HUNDREDS of hours that so many people invested. No doubt about it, extremely talented people donated serious time, energy and effort. They were vital. And we are the beneficiaries of their gift to us. I usually talk about these folks and leave Beth out. She'd prefer it that way, frankly. And yet, I just couldn't do that this time.
Make no mistake about it: Behold the Lamb would not have happened like it did without Beth. Her unique qualities of creativity, exceptional talent and high capacity leadership make her one of the gifted leaders I've ever seen.
When you finish a work like she did this past weekend, and especially when you have the role she had (which was mostly unseen), you do a lot of reflecting. My hope is that she will hear from you as she looks back. Let her know it was worth it, that our church is better in unspeakable ways because she's here, and that you appreciate her hard work that none of us will ever know about to make PCC happen.